UFC featherweight Chad Mendes will be charged with battery following his involvement in a bar fight last month, MMA Junkie reports.
According to Kings County Sheriff’s deputies, on July 29, Mendes “sucker punched a man in the face” at Lacey Inn Bar in his hometown of Hanford, California. Eyewitnesses say Mendes quickly left through the back door of the bar and ran from law enforcement to avoid being captured. However, many bystanders recognized him as a UFC fighter.
Assistant Sheriff Dave Putnam said, “The victim felt lucky to walk out with just a contusion after being punched by Mendes.”
If convicted of battery, Mendes faces a fine of $2,000 and up to six months in jail. He is set to be arraigned on September 19.
The 27-year-old and his camp are adamant that the majority of the facts relating to the case are false, and Mendes has promised that he will meet with law enforcement when he returns to California. He is currently in Ohio coaching a teammate.
According to Larry Pepe, host of Pro MMA Radio and Fox Sports Radio UFC Pre and Post Fight Shows, the original story that ran in the Hanford Sentinel was “overblown and inaccurate.” Pepe says Mendes did not punch anyone, nor did he run from police. His sources at the bar said that a patron “started in with Mendes” and Mendes slapped him and that the incident was recorded.
The incident occurred just three weeks after Chad Mendes scored a first round knockout against Cody McKenzie at UFC 148, a huge victory after losing a title shot to champion Jose Aldo at UFC 142. Mendes has yet to be booked for his next UFC fight, and whether the allegations against him will affect his career remains to be seen.